Do metal detectors detect stainless steel 

Do metal detectors detect stainless steel?

People often find various metals that are detected through their metal detectors. But many who are beginning their metal detector adventures are still confused about do metal detectors detect stainless steel.

A question often arises: whether stainless steel is ferrous or nonferrous, magnetic or nonmagnetic.

So if you are asking this question, then we are eager to answer it because this will make you an exceptional detectorist.

So at the moment, we will explain what stainless steel is, whether metal detectors can detect stainless steel, and what things can be made of stainless steel.

Stainless steel is not a pricey metal; it is utilized for practical purposes. Before answering the detection capacity of stainless steel, we first need to analyze the data. So now we will look step-by-step at every piece of information.

Stainless steel is not a particularly pricey metal, which is one of the main reasons why it is so widely used for practical purposes. But before we answer whether or not metal detectors detect stainless steel, let’s first find out the composition of stainless steel.

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel is a metallic alloy that retains a high quantity of iron and small portions of chromium, nickel, etc.

Unlike regular steel, which rusts when it comes in contact with air and water, stainless steel has a high amount of resistance against corrosion.

In the production process, manufacturers do not let the iron be in its purest form because it will rust away.

Mixing iron with other metals makes the iron reliable and long-lasting, improving its electromagnetic characteristics and preventing oxidation. Manufacturers produce stainless steel by following these techniques.

Stainless steel is an iron-chromium alloy, and other metals are added to stainless steel according to the manufacturer’s requirements.

It contains 60–80% iron metal, so it has a magnetic nature and falls under the category of ferrous items.

If the producer alters the composition of iron and increases the amounts of other metals in stainless steel, then the magnetic property and electrical conductivity will be affected accordingly.

This implies that stainless steel will become less conductive, making it problematic for a detector to detect this type of target metal.

Do metal detectors detect stainless steel?

Based on the stainless steel composition, it can either be detectable or not. Stainless steel has various formations.

Since stainless steel does not exist naturally on Earth, it is artificially synthesized, which means that the ratio of metals will be changed as per the producer’s demand.

If the ferrous portion is more, it will behave as a ferrous metal, and its nature will be ferromagnetic, making it easy to detect with a metal detector.

In contrast, if impurities have a greater quantity, they will act as nonferrous. Plus, their conductivity and magnetism will be negatively influenced, making it tough to detect the stainless steel.

Metal detectors serve the function of locating ferrous metals like gold.

Even though gold is a poor conductor and has fewer magnetic characteristics, a metal detector can still identify gold. For more information, you can also read this article Can Metal Detectors Detect Gold?

Since stainless steel also contains a high amount of ferrous metals in its structure, it is easier to discover compared to gold but more difficult compared to iron.

So we cannot say that it is wholly impossible to uncover stainless steel because if a metal detector can discover gold, then there is no problem in identifying stainless steel as well.

What items can be made of stainless steel?


Stainless steel rings are popular in the market as stainless steel does not rust easily.

Bracelets, necklaces, and earrings

Although not as prevalent as gold and diamond jewelry, stainless steel ornaments have value, especially if they have antique significance.


Expensive and branded wristwatches often have stainless steel bases, which adds value to the find.


Weapon instruments such as knives made of stainless steel are also valuable, and detectorists can exchange them for a handsome amount of money in the market.

Cooking utensils

Cooking utensils, cutlery, and some storage-purpose items are made from stainless steel.

Scrap items

Scrap items used in construction are also made from steel.


Some dustbins are produced from stainless steel.

Learn about common mistakes people make when metal detecting and how you can avoid them here.


Stainless steel is an artificially synthesized metallic alloy. There is no simple yes or no answer to the detection of stainless steel. That’s why we have given you a broader view of the possibilities of its detection.

The higher the composition of iron metal, the easier it is to find, while the low iron composition makes the discovery challenging.

So the detection of stainless steel varies from detector to detector. There are not metal detectors that are specially designed to target steel as it is an inexpensive material and there is not demand for it.

Discoveries of stainless steel can either be precious or invaluable. Its use in ornaments, weapons, and utensils is valuable, while its use in scrap items is invaluable.

Hopefully, you have learned what you were seeking and got your queries resolved.

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